Monday, 15 September 2003

Europe 56, Frankenreich 42

A good result for true Europeans.

I watched the Swedish referendum result coming through on the Internet last night. When I logged in, "Nej" was winning by 60% to 40%. Great, I thought, and then noticed that only 1% of the votes had been counted. As the night went on I expected "Ja" to catch up strongly. But no, the good guys retained the lead and confounded the experts.

And what about this "expert":

But Chris Bryant, Labour MP and chair of the Labour Movement for Europe, said: "Obviously I would have preferred it if Sweden had voted Yes, but Sweden is Sweden and Britain is Britain and we have a very different economy."
Well, yes. Britain's economy is even less dependent on European links than is Sweden's!

The Swedish referendum has implications for us in Scotland. I note that there was a pro-Euro majority in Stockholm and Malmo: the largest city and the one nearest the European heartland. The rest of Sweden voted "no". Our equivalent cities are Glasgow and Edinburgh. Perhaps the rest of Scotland would contain most of our "no" voters if we were to hold a referendum but rural and small town Scotland is the stronghold of the Scottish Nationalists who are resolutely pro-Euro! The Scottish Tories should be planning to use this issue to retake SNP seats in what were their traditional areas.